Wine of the week: a simply perfect tawny port


2007 Quinta do Noval, Colheita, Port Tawny, Portugal

£ 49.99,

I had a hard time finding retailers for this wine, and this is a source of utter bewilderment and exasperation for me as it is, without a doubt, the most sensational tawny port I have ever tasted. . I first tasted it on April 8 and still remember every facet of its excellence. It should be on every serious wine list in the country, but, as I file this copy, Ocado, while listing the 2005 vintage, has taken delivery of the 2007 vintage, and his wine buyer assures me that he will be updated on its website imminently.

The first word I wrote about this vintage tawny in my notes was “heaven”. There have only been seven outings from Colheita in the 28 years that Christian Seely has overseen the historic Quinta do Noval estate. The wine from a single vineyard and a single harvest, bottled after spending 13 years in cask, is one of the deepest and most moving wines of any style I can remember. It’s drinking perfectly right now, with just the right amount of venerable aged characteristics balanced by masses of admirable vigor and boundless energy.

But while my featured port is a real stormer, no Quinta do Noval Nacional has been declared in this vintage, so I wonder if we might see a 2007 Colheita Nacional ever appear on the market. If we do, I would feel compelled to give it a 21/20 rating assuming it could be a finer wine than this, which I gave my highest rating for a tawny port – a perfect 20/20.

Matthew Jukes is winner of the Communicator of the Year of the International Wine & Spirit Competition (


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